I first have to say how much I enjoy and learn from the podcast.  I am relatively new to the manager tools podcast and forums.  In the past two weeks I have listened to so many different podcast there all blend together.  I am trying to find a quote that Mark said in one of the more recent podcast about a month ago it was posted.  The quote had to do with war, generals and how they can move pieces on a map but they really do not know what war is.  I hope I can find the whole quote.





thebeezer's picture
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John Brown’s Body:


“If you take a flat map

And move wooden blocks upon it strategically,

The thing looks well, the blocks behave as they should.

The science of war is moving live men like blocks.

And getting the blocks into place at a fixed moment.

But it takes time to mold your men into blocks

And flat maps turn into country where, creeks and gullies

Hamper your wooden squares. They stick in the brush,

They are tired and rest, they straggle after ripe blackberries

And you cannot lift them up in your hand and move them….

It is all so clear in the maps, so clear in the mind,

But the orders are slow, the men in the blocks are slow

To move, when they start they take too long on the way

The General loses his stars and the block–men die

In unstrategic defiance of martial law

Because still used to just being men, not block parts.”


––Stephen Vincent Benet (from DA Pamphlet 600-65)



teamhorn's picture

That was quick, thank you.

akinsgre's picture

 The whole book is on Guttenberg project (in other words, free).. It's worth reading in it's entirety

Mark's picture
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Mike gave me, as a gift, a signed, first edition printing of JBB recently.  That and Drucker are the only PERMANENT books on my desk, sitting side by side.

I also have the quote printed out above my laptop's monitor.  I look at it several times a day...

All the perfect plans in the world don't help us once the action starts.


jhack's picture

General Eisenhower's paraphrasing is one of my favorites:  

Plans are useless but planning is indispensable

John Hack